In an unexpected twist spinning out of Thursday's Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia, the script for tonight's WWE Friday Night Smackdown will need to be hastily rewritten at the last minute once again. This time, however, it's not because Vince McMahon didn't feel there was enough "good sh*t" on the show and felt like undercutting the work of his entire creative team. Instead, the show will need to be changed up because most of the wrestlers who went to Saudi Arabia won't make it back in time for tonight's event in Buffalo.
WWE released the following statement on their website:
The WWE roster is delayed in its return from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, following a historic performance at yesterday's record-breaking WWE Crown Jewel event.
More than 175 Superstars, production crew and employees boarded a 747 charter flight back to the United States on Thursday. After the door closed, due to several aircraft problems including mechanical issues, all passengers sat on the tarmac for more than six hours. With SmackDown set to emanate live from Buffalo, N.Y., several Superstars felt so strongly that they arranged for their own separate charter in order to make it back to the U.S. for the show. Due to unforeseen issues, that charter will not land until after the live broadcast on FOX.
The remainder of WWE's Superstars, staff and crew will depart on a charter set to depart Saudi Arabia later tonight.
As always with WWE, the show must go on. Live at 8/7 CT on FOX, SmackDown will feature Superstars, such as Daniel Bryan, The Miz, Carmella, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke — plus, additional surprises.
For the latest updates on this story and tonight's SmackDown, check back with WWE.com and follow WWE on social media.
Well, it's not the worst thing to happen on a WWE jet on a foreign tour. On the bright side, WWE will be forced to think outside the box for tonight's event, which means something unexpected might happen, a rarity on WWE programming these days.
Here's one match that is set to take place as scheduled, since only a select few women were allowed into Saudi Arabia in the first place:
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) November 1, 2019